North South Divide to End?
Posted by chdot on December 4, 2006
This photo was taken 8 years ago (early low-res digital camera) for a story on the Spokes web site headed “Rodney Street Tunnel set to re-open for the Millennium”.
Sadly a similar photo could be taken today. The prospect of a safe route avoiding the Rodney Street/Broughton Road junction and connecting the New Town with Willie Low’s (now Tesco) and the North Edinburgh Path Network has been ‘promised’ for over 20 years. The signed path to the mouth of the tunnel was created by Lothian Regional Council.
The historic tunnel has been more of an uncertainty than a problem. Part of the northern end had been filled with earth and rubble as a precaution, though generally the tunnel is in good condition. The fact that buses and heavy lorries are only a few feet above the top of the tunnel means that some strengthening is necessary.
Inevitably this is not cheap but Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity, which has had a long standing interest, has been awarded £350,000 by the Scottish Executive’s Transport Group so that the tunnel can become part of NCN Route 75.
John Lauder (national director of Sustrans Scotland since February) says “planning and securing permission to re-open the path has been torturous but it is hoped that by summer 2007 works will be complete and the tunnel re-opened.”
City of Edinburgh Council still has to agree to provide the funding to create the path and light the tunnel. But this should just be a formality…..